Halloween, for some it’s the best time of the year. Pumpkins light up our houses, fireworks crackle in the sky and we all get to tuck into some tasty treats. But whilst Halloween is great fun for us humans, our canine companions may not feel the same. Plus, there are lots of hazards which present themselves at this time of year thanks to all the food and decorations that suddenly appear around our home.
For us they add a little Halloween spirit, but for our dogs they are new things to play with and potentially try and eat – even if they’re not good for them! Rest assured, we’ve got some handy tips which should help prevent any problems occurring. Here are seven things all pet owners should definitely avoid doing on Halloween.
- Put decorations up that your dog can get their paws on
All those paper and plastic decorations could cause all sorts of problem if your dog manages to find them. They could choke on them, eat them and have serious tummy troubles or even manage to suffocate themselves. So try and put your Halloween decorations up high where Fido can’t get to them.
- Let your dog near candles and fairy lights
You might want to light a pumpkin or two in the lead up to Halloween, but remember dogs can easily knock things over. And disaster could strike if they knock over your pumpkins and cause a fire. Remember to blow them out when unattended. If you are lighting a few candles or tea lights keep them well away from your dog. Also watch out for electric lights like fairy lights which your dog can get wrapped up in or try and chew and electrocute themselves.
- Store Halloween sweets and chocolates within reach
Your pooch will be just as excited by all the treats around the house as you are. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, so any chocolate Halloween treats should be stored in a cupboard that your dog can’t get into. Also lots of sweets contain Xylitol which is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, seizures, loss of coordination and in very serious incidents, liver failure. So it’s extremely important to make sure you don’t leave all your trick or treating goodies in a bag somewhere for your dog to gobble up.
- Leave your dog home alone during fireworks or Hallow’s eve
If at all possible, try not to leave your dog at home on their own at Halloween. Why? A number of reasons. Firstly, because a lot of fireworks displays tend to go off, and many dogs are terrified by the sound of fireworks and should be supervised. Secondly, because there will most likely be lots of people knocking on your dog at several points in the evening, and Fido might get stressed and confused by so many people banging on the door. If you’re off out, try and get someone to stay at home with your pooch.
- Dress your dog up in an outfit if they don’t like it
If your dog clearly doesn’t give a damn about being dressed in all sorts of silly outfits, then go right ahead. But as soon as you start to notice any signs of stress, which us humans often miss, then it’s time to take their cute outfit off, even if it is very adorable. Signs of stress might include trying to get the outfit off, excessive panting, pacing around etc. You know your dog, so don’t put them in an outfit if they are clearly unhappy. Go for something simple like a Halloween themed dog collar instead.
- Feed your dog Halloween leftovers
It may be tempting to feed your dog yummy leftovers but just take a moment to think about their tum. Suddenly feasting on human food which they don’t normally have might upset their digestive system. And there are plenty of human foods that dogs really shouldn’t have.
- Make them join in the party
If you’re hosting a Halloween party and you have a pooch, do keep in mind how they might feel about it. Are they used to lots of people coming round your home? Will they be comfortable with lots of strangers suddenly appearing in your house? If they may get a bit stressed with loads of people around, then consider putting them in daycare or keeping them in a separate room with their bed so they can snuggle up and feel safe. Oh, and don’t blast that music too loud if Fido is going to be in the room with you.